The sixth chakra is located between and above the eyebrows. Most often referred to as the Third Eye Chakra, the sixth chakra gains the moniker Ajna in Sanskrit meaning “to command.”
The Third Eye Chakra governs the neutral mind, allowing us the perspective to balance the warnings offered by the negative mind with the optimism of the positive mind and see reality for what it truly is beyond the veil of maya. The gift of the sixth chakra is to see beneath the surface. A balanced Ajna chakra gives insight and strong intuition – the ability to perceive what is, and a strong imagination – the ability to see what is possible.
This chakra governs the pituitary gland.
“That gland is a “master gland.” In the East it is associated with the “third eye,” the intuitive functioning of the human that can know things not consciously recognized by the mind. We have traced some of the paths that start with the associations made in the cerebral cortex, then go to centers in the hypothalamus, and then activate nerves that project into one of the two lobes of the pituitary. Those nerves produce “releasing factors,” neurosecretions-messengers that tell the pituitary to release hormones into the blood stream. Those hormones travel to special receptors throughout the body…Breath is linked to our emotional and metabolic state. Subtle regulation of the breath can change the type, balance and range of hormones released in the system. This in turn cranks up the metabolism with extra reserves of cellular energy for top performance, and modulates the moods that are the background for our emotions. Regulating the breath with primal sounds or the shabds turns the breath into pavan guru, a teacher through the very action and sensitivity of life… The hormones from the pituitary and the pineal gland are now known to increase the enjoyment of social relationships and the ability to bond with others. There is a chemistry to our relationships too.”
~Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini Yoga Level One
The Ajna chakra vibrates to the color purple or indigo and can be balanced with the stone amethyst. It’s element is light, and it is strongly affected by meditation. Many meditations call for the practitioner to envision a bright light radiating from the third eye. These meditations strengthen the pituitary gland as they work to cleanse and balance the sixth chakra. They also connect us to the infinite well of inner light that we have within.
Because of its physical connection to the mind and the eyes, these areas are affected when the Ajna chakra is not in balance. When this chakra is overloaded with too much energy, you might experience headaches or migraines, nightmares or hallucinations, delusions, or difficulty concentrating. The illness of Schizophrenia is an extreme example of a sixth chakra with excessive energy. When the third eye is blocked and not receiving enough energy, you will experience poor vision as well as a lack of imagination, poor memory, and denial.
Illusion, the demon of the sixth chakra, can affect us in more subtle ways than the extreme demonstrated by Schizophrenia. A clouded sixth chakra can keep us in a situation of which we are unworthy by offering the illusion that we can’t do any better. Excessive energy to the third eye can cause “illusions of grandeur,” making us think we are in a better place than we are. Clearing this chakra will bring a clarity of vision to the present and the future and allow you proceed forward with wisdom and insight.
Meditation and mantra are two of the most powerful ways to bring this chakra into balance. To balance the sixth chakra, practice this series of asana and meditation starting in a standing pose at the front of your mat with your hands at heart center. Raise your hands above your head and as you inhale, and exhale with an intoneful OM as your hands meet in prayer and lower back down to your heart, pausing just a short vibration to touch your hands to your third eye. After three full vibrations of OM, begin with prayerful movement from standing with your arms extended over your head, bringing your hands down to Anjali mudra, prayer pose, pausing with your thumbs pressed into your third eye. Allow your folded hands and then your heart to guide your body down into an Uttanasana, or soft forward bend, followed by a half forward bend, and then a final surrender into Uttanasana. Repeat this three to find times and then begin moving slowly and deliberately into a Vrksasana, or tree pose, pausing to breathe deeply as you balance serenely. Step directly back into Archer’s Pose, moving dynamically in and out as you direct your inner and outer vision towards the limitless future.
Pause for a moment in Samasthiti, equal standing pose, before you repeat the sequence on the other side. After another rest in Samasthiti, step back into Virabhadrasana 1, Warrior One, transitioning with control to Virabhadrasana 3. Step forward into Uttanasana before repeating on the other side. Challenge yourself by keeping your physical eyes closed with your inner gaze directed towards your third eye as much as you can throughout your practice. Complete the Hatha yoga portion of your practice in child’s pose, resting your third eye on the earth with your hands in Anjali mudra behind your head with your fingers pointed like beacons towards the sky. Next take your seat for meditation.
Find a comfortable seat, perhaps with your hips raised on a bolster, pillow, or folded blanket. With your eyes closed, roll your eyes up so that they are looking at the brow point. Imagine a strong white light entering the crown of your head and projecting cleanly out of your third eye. Allow the breath to deepen as it lengthens. Begin to chant, enunciating each syllable,
Wa-he-Gu-ru Wa-he-Gu-ru Wa-he-Gu-ru Wa-he-Gu-ru.
Continue the meditation for 11 to 31 minutes. This meditation will clear your sixth chakra and strengthen your neutral mind.
Other Posts on Chakras: